Saturday, August 11, 2012

Minnie Dress for my mini

It's safe to say:  this is my new favorite pattern.  I am already imagining fall versions of it:  made from corduroy and fleece and made to be layered over bright colored long sleeved shirts.  Raina loves it, too, and that's key.  She has some definite opinions when it comes to her clothing, and the number one factor is COMFORT.  The number two factor, as of late, seems to be that it is emblazoned with the face of a character she is on love with.

...Which is why this dress is made from Minnie Mouse fabric.  Nothing I would ever have picked out on my own, but I don't see things through the eyes of a 3 year old!  Last week, I dragged both of my smalls to a new fabric store I discovered.  The tall of the smalls (raina, that is!) walked through the front doors, took a look around, and sighed, "ANOTHER fabric store?"  To quell her disappointment about the fact that we were indeed at a fabric store and not an indoor trampoline park, I said, "But LOOK!  They hace lots of fun things!  Pink buttons!  Shiny purple fabric!  You can pick something out for a dress if you want!"  Her response?  "Where do they keep the princesses?"  :)

The minnie fabric is jersey knit, and was a compromise.  She picked out a few hideous prints that I vetoed - giant Care Bear faces,  Bratz, sparkly spandex... just to name a few.  It was down to Minnie Mouse and a pink cotton with cupcakes and donuts.  We finally settled on Minnie, and Miss Raina dragged the bolt up to the cutting table all on her own, shouting something about "awesome gowns" and "strong muscles!"  I love her so big.  So did the girl at the cutting table.  Her stories and sense of humor are pretty hard to resist.  We also made a stop at the button wall, where Raina picked out the pink bow buttons that adorn the bodice right below the straps.

I was slightly nervous about sewing this pattern with a knit.  I had the pink and white stripes in my stash already (60% off one day at JoAnn!  I bought 4 yards at that price!), and decided to just swallow the nervousness and get on with it.  It's a mouse dress for a 3 year old who doesn't even REALLY like to be dressed anyway.

Turns out, my timidness was not necessary!  It came together fairly easily, with some wonkiness here and there on the long straight lines, but not really anything to be ashamed of!  :)  It seems very comfortable, and it is most certainly covered in character faces.  WIN!

I did end up doing some unintended top stitching.  The bottoms of the straps, and across the top of the bodice in the back and front.  The jersey lays flatter when hanging if it's topstitched.

Here's what I discovered I really love about sewing with jersey:  inside seams don't really need to be finished!  The just roll right up!  Hurrah!

One thing I've forgotten to mention in my past posts about the knot dress:  I've made the bodice a lined bodice.  That means no visible inside seams.  Everything is tucked away, hidden, topstitched.  No itchies to be found!

There is a pair of ruffle pants in the works, but from a different pattern this time.  I am still in love with the ruffle pants pattern, but on Raina the 3T is just TOO wide for her skinny minny legs.  I know I can adjust them to make them narrower for her, but I haven't done it yet. (they work well on Luscious Lucca, though!)  In the meantime, I traced a pair of her current pants on the minnie fabric, and made ruffles from the pink and white stripe.  They aren't done yet, but should be soon.  Hopefully they pass the comfort test!  This is Raina, sittin comfy in her extra wides:

I feel like I'm back in high school, buying super wide leg pink pants at Hot Topic.  (Seriously.  I had, like, 4 pairs.  One was so wide, and had pockets so big, I could literally carry around an extra pair of shoes and all of my books without needing an extra bag.  Memories are scary.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

By the Seashore Knot Dress

Obvi, I made Lucca a knot dress.  I can't make a cute little garment for one kid and not make it for the other!  This fabric was bought with Lucca in mind... I though I might make her an Oliver and S Ice Cream Dress at one point... but never did.  Now I'm glad I was lazy, because this pattern suits it perfectly!  I really love that the tiny people playing at the beach are printed right side up AND upside down... no chance of sewing something on upside down!  I don't need to spend any more quality time with my seam ripper!

Some views of the dress, hanging pretty on my front door:

I used pretty simple coordintaing fabrics for the bodice and trim:  blue with white polka dots, and yellow with white polka dots.  I'm all for mixing patterns, but I really wanted the focus here to be on the beach party!  Having both other fabrics be polka dots, even though they are different colors, makes it bright and fun without being too distracting.

Of course, I made matching ruffle pants!  But, my friends, August in Boston means 90 degrees and a gagillion percent humidity, so my tiny model will not be wearing them for a while :)  

Outfit, complete:

Oh, these were both made from the same patterns as Raina's Rapunzel set in my last post.  Both patterns from Pink Poodle Bows on Etsy!

She pretty cute, even when I can't convince her to ham it up for the computer :).  (These are her 9 month pictures, taken 2 weeks late!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Knot" your average princess dress!

 (and ruffle pants!)

Raina picked out the Rapunzel fabric part of this outfit and asked me to "Sew a beautiful gown!"  It's been bopping around under my table for a while now, and I pulled it back out the other day after buying the Ava Knot Dress Pattern and Ruffle Pants Pattern from PinkPoodleBows on Etsy.  I love the way I was able to use it as a large portion of the dress without having it be the whole thing.  I love the way the purple floral and pink dots pop against it.  

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly this outfit came together!  I expected the dress pattern to trip me up a few times, but it really only did at the final and very dreaded buttonhole step!  :)

Here's a front and back view of the dress by itself:

Very similar, except one side has the knots and one doesn't!

Rapunzel face close-up.  I love the sassy and defiant look on her face.  Very Raina!
Bodice topstitching.  I think my best topstitching over ruffles yet!

More fabric close-up.  I love the message... "Paint the world with imagination"  Raina does this every single day.
Knot detail.  I positioned this so you can't see my amateur buttonhole underneath!

Bodice and straps

Hemline... with no hemming!  I double the width of the skirt trim, folded it in half, and sewed it on to the bottom that way so there would be no hemming involved.  It is sewn on in a way that sandwiches the bottom raw edge of the skirt, hiding it completely.  I like the clean look it gives.

Honestly, the only thing I struggled with was the buttonhole - and that is no fault of the pattern's - just my own inexperience and general avoidance of them up until now!  I looked up a video on YouTube about how to make a button hole with my machine while I was giving Lucca her bedtime bottle last night... making sure of course to have the sound turned off on my iPhone.  I thought I'd just watch the steps in the video and figure it out.  HA!  No one told me that shutting off the sound on your phone does NOT mute YouTube!!  So there we are, dark, QUIET room, sleepy almost completely passed out baby...  (read the following with a southern twang, please)  "HI!  I'M CONNIE AND I..."   Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!  I have never shut my phone off faster. Fortunately it didn't take Lucca long to settle back to sleep, but I learned an important lesson!  :)

And then, of course, pants to match!  The same easy peasy ruffle pants pattern from the other day, just a few sizes larger!!

Noticed at the end that I managed to sew one ruffle on correctly so the design is right side up, but completely failed on the other leg!

I even topstitched the ruffled to make them lay nice and flat.  

Here's sassy Raina-punzel again!

Vie of the bottom half:

I took all of the pictures for this post while holding a baby on my hip.  I'm pretty pleased with them!

My intention was to not write this post until I had some pictures of Raina wearing her outfit to add... but she lives in bathing suits these days, and no bribe or sweet talk could get her to leave real clothes on long enough for a photo-op!  We have finally had to make a rule that bathing suits are not pajamas... but other than that I say it's summer, it's stinkin' hot, she's cute... why not let her wear her beloved rainbow bathing suit every second of every waking hour?  :)  I promise there will be real life picture of Lucca in her knot dress and ruffle pants when I finish those up... she's not old enough to fight back yet!  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tova, Tova, Tova...

In case you didn't get it, that title is supposed to be chanting like you're egging on a toga party :).

The Tova pattern, previously seen in my starfish dress, is my new favorite favorite.  Basically, I'm going to make 5 or 6 of them and call my fall wardrobe complete!  :)  Kidding.  Sorta.  Or not.  :)

This time around, I made the sleeves, and used the regular shirt length instead of dress length.  It's still awesomesauce.

As we already know, I'm a big fan of using fabric that was possibly intended for children to make my own clothing.  I've got a dress cut for Lucca in the same fabric, and while I love it for her tiny size, I"m going to be honest here and admit that I definitely bought it with the Tova pattern in mind!

I'm pretty much in love with it, from the gathered cuffs, to the front bodice, to the slightly poofed shoulders...

Time to start cutting the next one!  And if you're looking for a preview....  NEXT TIME, on Tova party 2012:  un-gathered cuffs, side seam pockets (!), narrower rounded corner collar.  Are you ready for the excitement?!